Former Oklahoma standout and reigning NBA Rookie of the Year Blake Griffin was unable to participate in Sunday's exhibition game at the Cox Convention Center after reportedly cutting his foot swimming in the ocean.
The event initially was dubbed as a showdown between Griffin and the Thunder's Kevin Durant.
Though Griffin was not in attendance, T-shirts promoting "Durant Versus Griffin Showdown" were sold in the arena.
The crowd was estimated at 13,000, which is roughly 400 shy of a sellout at the Cox Convention Center. It is the largest crowd for any NBA exhibition game in the United States this summer. The previous high being 4,800 at Morgan State in Baltimore.
Players are not allowed to hold exhibitions in NBA facilities during the lockout.
Other no-shows included Amar'e Stoudemire of the New York Knicks, Monta Ellis of the Golden State Warriors, John Wall of the Washington Wizards and the Thunder's Kendrick Perkins.
Rudy Gay of Memphis arrived in the fourth quarter, but did not play. Thunder first-round draft choice Reggie Jackson of Boston College was a late addition to the White Team roster.
“KD told me this is just how the fans were, so it was fun,” Jackson said. “I got to be around a bunch of All-Stars. I had fun just watching for the most part.”
With 2:56 remaining in overtime, Durant picked up his fifth personal foul, which is one short of disqualification in an NBA game.
Asked if he was afraid he was going to foul out, Durant smiled and drew laughter by saying, “No, it's my game. I can't foul out.”
Chris Paul: “He couldn't foul out, but he couldn't shoot without getting fouled.”
Durant: “Nah, it's all good.”
Former Oklahoma State great and 10-year NBA veteran Desmond Mason helped organize the event and served as coach of the Blue Team. Comedian DeRay Davis coached the White Team.
Thunder guards Eric Maynor and Daequan Cook watched from the front row. Also in attendance was WNBA star Tina Thompson.
“You don't understand how much I miss this place. To see the fans and how much support we have out here, it's unbelievable. I have flashbacks and memories, but hopefully we can get this lockout over and this deal done so we can get back on the court.” – Thunder guard James Harden
When the Thunder's Russell Westbrook air-balled a wide open 3-pointer from the right corner, public address announcer Miles Rawls quipped, “Twenty-five push-ups, Russ,” as Westbrook ran down court. … At halftime, Durant presented a $100,000 donation to the Single Parent Support Network, a charity for which his mother, Wanda Pratt, serves as chairman. … Players were introduced by their colleges, not their NBA teams. … Several players didn't play at full-speed, which made Westbrook even faster. … Paul had an array of remarkable assists, including a one-handed, alley-oop bounce pass from 30 feet away to a streaking Harden.